Teddy Bridgewater Says Saints Offered Better Long-Term Situation Than Dolphins

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2019

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 30: Teddy Bridgewater #5 of the New Orleans Saints passes the ball during a NFL game against the Carolina Panthers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on December 30, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater explained Friday why he decided to re-sign with the New Orleans Saints rather than join the Miami Dolphins to potentially compete for a starting job.

Appearing on WWL radio (h/t Luke Johnson of the Times-Picayune), Bridgewater said: "You play the game to compete, and you want to be a starter, but at the same time you don't want to rush yourself to be in any situation that could possibly lead you back to where you are today."

Bridgewater added that re-signing with the Saints was the best move for him "as a football player and as a man."

According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Bridgewater signed a one-year, $7.25 million fully guaranteed deal to serve as Drew Brees' backup in New Orleans. Bridgewater re-signed with the Saints after the Dolphins hosted him for a free-agent visit Wednesday.

ESPN's Field Yates provided some possible insight into why Bridgewater chose New Orleans over Miami:

Field Yates @FieldYates

The best chance to start right away for Teddy Bridgewater was to leave in free agency. The best chance to lay the foundation to be a long-term starter for Teddy Bridgewater was to stay in New Orleans. It will take patience, but this could well pay off in a major way.

Since suffering a major knee injury that cost him the entire 2016 season, Bridgewater has appeared in just six regular-season games. He threw two passes for the Minnesota Vikings in 2017 before signing a free-agent deal with the New York Jets.

He was then traded to the Saints last season, and he started the team's season finale, where he went 14-of-22 for 118 yards with one touchdown and one interception while leading an offense primarily composed of reserves.

Prior to the knee injury, Bridgewater was a rising star. The Vikings selected him in the first round of the 2014 NFL draft out of Louisville, and in his second season, he led the Vikes to an 11-5 record and a playoff berth.

Bridgewater was also named to the Pro Bowl that season after completing 65.3 percent of his passes for 3,231 yards, 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions while rushing for 192 yards and three scores.

Signing with Miami may have given Bridgewater an opportunity to start in 2019. The Dolphins are expected to release incumbent starter Ryan Tannehill, and there aren't many options left in free agency.

The Dolphins do own the No. 13 pick in the 2019 draft, though, and they could look to select their quarterback of the future in Kyler Murray, Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock or Daniel Jones.

If the Dolphins were to do that and sign Bridgewater, it's possible he would have been supplanted at some point in 2019 or entering the 2020 season.

While Bridgewater is the clear backup to Brees in 2019, remaining with the organization leaves the door open for him to be the heir apparent when Brees retires. While Brees hasn't indicated when that time will come, he is 40 years old.

Taking over for Brees would be a dream scenario for Bridgewater, and the possibility of that happening in the near future seemed to outweigh the instant gratification of starting for a rebuilding team in Miami.


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